Awards and honors




Chiara Fabbian, clinical associate professor and director of the Italian program, received the 2017 Dante Alighieri Award from the Illinois chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Italian in recognition of her teaching and service to the community and distinguished promotion of the Italian language and culture.

Yichao Wu, professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science, was named the 2017 junior awardee of the Leo Breiman Award by the American Statistical Association’s section on statistical learning and data science. The honor recognizes outstanding theoretical or methodological contributions to machine learning and/or computational statistics. As an award recipient, Wu will deliver an invited lecture at the association’s 2019 Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, Colorado.



College of Nursing dean Terri Weaver and Eileen Collins, associate dean for research in the College of Nursing, were selected as members of the first class of American Thoracic Society fellows.

Mitchell Sun, a sophomore biochemistry major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a 2018 Goldwater Foundation honorable mention in recognition of his undergraduate science research. Sun, who is a member of the Honors College and the GPPA program, conducts lung biology and pathophysiology research in the UIC lab of Yulia Komarova, associate professor of pharmacology. Heplans to earn joint M.D./Ph.D. degrees to become a physician-researcher in oncology and immunology and teach at the university level while working with patients.

Kenneth Brezinsky, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, was elected a fellow of the inaugural class of Fellows by The Combustion Institute. The Combustion Institute is a nonprofit, educational and scientific society that promotes and disseminates research activities in all areas of combustion science and technology. Brezinsky’s current research in combustion chemistry is focused on high temperature gas phase chemical kinetics related to combustion processes in aircraft, and gasoline and diesel related fuels.

Kharma Foucher, assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition, was selected to serve as a member of the Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section at the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health. Her term will last through June 2023. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on the applications and survey the status of research in their fields of science.

Heather Prendergast, professor of emergency medicine and associate head for academic affairs in the UIC College of Medicine, was named a 2018 Chicago Defender Woman of Excellence.

Xiaohong Joe Zhou, professor of radiology, neurosurgery and bioengineering and director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research 3T Program, was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows. Dr. Zhou was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding contributions to technical development of magnetic resonance imaging and exploring its applications in cancer.

Lynn Hudson, associate professor of history, will conduct advanced research in the Spring 2019 semester with support from two international humanities fellowships.

Hudson is one of approximately 200 scholars in the fields of history, literature, art, and the history of science selected through the Huntington Library’s intensive peer-review program. As the library’s E. Peter Mauk Jr./ Doyce B. Nunis, Jr. Fellow from January through March, she will continue work on a current research project about the career of civil rights attorney Loren Miller, whose personal and professional papers are based at library located in Pasadena, California.

Beginning in April 2019, Hudson will be in the United Kingdom as the University of Bristol’s Benjamin Meaker visiting professor, which is awarded by the university’s Institute for Advanced Studies. Established over 40 years ago, the professorship program brings distinguished researchers from abroad and the United Kingdom to Bristol in order to enhance the research activity of the university. Based in Bristol’s Centre for Black Humanities, she will spend three months working on her research project “Race, Nation and Belonging: A Black American Expatriate in Britain,” which looks at the life of Marie Battle Singer, an African-American expatriate who became the United Kingdom’s first black psychoanalyst.

William Parkinson, professor of anthropology and curator at the Field Museum of Natural History, is a co-editor and contributor forNeolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, a new book recently published by Oxbow Books.



Ahmed Mohamed, doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, is among 20 students from the U.S. and Canada to receive the ThinkSwiss Research Scholarship. The award will support his summer research fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne.

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